While ACC player of the year and likely top NBA draft pick Jahlil Okafor was saddled with foul trouble for most of the second half, fellow freshman Tyus Jones took it upon himself to lead Duke again to the promised land.
The Badgers' lead soon evaporated as the Blue Devils completed a furious comeback, led by a quartet of talented freshmen.
Okafor, Jones, along with freshman forward Justise Winslow and freshman guard Grayson Allen scored 88 percent of Duke's points in a 68-63 victory to secure the school's fifth national championship in the program’s history, all under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Jones scored 23 points, including 19 in the second half, and his 3-pointer with 4:03 left gave Duke the lead for good.
Jones was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four, while Allen added 16 points in the victory after scoring only 18 points in the first five games of the NCAA tournament.
Naismith winner and AP player of the year Frank Kaminsky scored 21 points and added 12 rebounds for the Badgers, who were looking for their first national championship since 1941.
But all season, the Blue Devils were led by Okafor and Jones, who devised a plan to play college ball together at a development camp during their ninth grade year and announced in November 2013 that they were headed to Durham.
"We were going to go to college together," Jones says, "and we were going to win a national championship."
Mission accomplished. The Blue Devils will gladly take another national championship to Tobacco Road and the Cameron Crazies.
For more on Jones and Duke's latest national championship, check out this week's Sports Illustrated (subscribe here).
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